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The 50 Highest Cascade Volcanoes       (page created June 2000, last updated September 2004)

    This table lists the 50+ highest volcanoes in the Cascade Range. In general, only distinct volcanoes (not individual peaks of volcanic origin) have been included in this list. However, several prominent summits which are subsidiary peaks of a larger volcanic structure have been listed for reference, but without a numerical rank. In order to consider two peaks as distinct volcanoes, this list requires that they have erupted from separate vents and each have 1000 feet of reascent (prominence) above any intervening pass. This is a rather strict standard, but it helps eliminate most subsidiary summits and satellite cinder cones from the list. For example, Little Tahoma fails on both of the above criteria, while Shastina lacks only the necessary reascent. For those summits which are part of a larger volcanic structure, the name of the encompassing structure has been given in parentheses.
    Of the 59 ranked volcanoes in this table, 27 are in Oregon and 19 in California, reflecting the widespread and diverse volcanic activity in these states, while only 6 are in Washington and 7 in British Columbia. Interestingly though, Washington has a majority of the very highest volcanoes, with 4 of the top 6 overall, although Oregon does hold a majority of the next highest peaks, having 10 of the top 16.
    NOTE: I have compiled this list myself from a variety of sources, with elevations generally taken from the current USGS topo maps for the US volcanoes and the current NRCan topo maps for those in Canada. I have calculated reascents (prominences) for these peaks myself from the topo maps, and they are necessarily approximate in most cases. The ranking on this list is probably complete and accurate only down to 8500 feet. Between 8500 and 7500 feet, there are dozens of volcanoes and volcanic peaks in southern Oregon and northern California, most having reascents near or below 1000 ft, which makes compiling an accurate list very difficult. Please contact me regarding any errors or suggestions. The only somewhat similar list I know of is the USGS Volcanic Heights in the Western United States, which does not concentrate on the Cascades and also admits to being very incomplete.

1. Mount Rainier 14411 ft 4392 m Washington
2. Mount Shasta 14162 ft4317 mCalifornia
Shastina  (Mount Shasta) 12330 ft3758 mCalifornia
3. Mount Adams 12276 ft3742 mWashington
4. Mount Hood 11239 ft3426 mOregon
Little Tahoma  (Mount Rainier) _ 11138 ft3395 mWashington
5. Mount Baker 10781 ft3286 mWashington
6. Glacier Peak 10541 ft3213 mWashington
7. Mount Jefferson 10497 ft3199 mOregon
8. Lassen Peak 10457 ft3187 mCalifornia
9. South Sister 10358 ft3157 mOregon
10. North Sister 10085 ft3074 mOregon
11. Middle Sister _ 10047 ft3062 mOregon
12. Mount McLoughlin 9495 ft2894 mOregon
Brokeoff Mtn  (Lassen / Mount Tehama, see note 1) 9235 ft2815 mCalifornia
13. Mount Thielsen 9182 ft2799 mOregon
14. Broken Top 9175 ft2797 mOregon
15. Mount Bachelor _ 9065 ft2763 mOregon
16. Mount Scott  (Crater Lake / Mt Mazama, see note 2) 8928 ft2721 mOregon
17. Plinth Peak (Meager Volcanic Complex, see note 3) 8790 ft2679 mBritish Columbia
18. Mount Garibaldi 8787 ft2678 mBritish Columbia
19. Diamond Peak 8744 ft2665 mOregon
20. Mount Meager  (Meager Volcanic Complex) 8680 ft2646 mBritish Columbia
21. Crater Peak  (Thousand Lakes / Magee Volcano) 8677 ft2645 mCalifornia
22. The Whaleback 8528 ft2599 mCalifornia
23. Capricorn Mountain  (Meager Volcanic Complex) 8429 ft2569 mBritish Columbia
24. Ash Creek Butte 8378 ft2554 mCalifornia
25. Red Cinder  (see note 4) 8375 ft2553 mCalifornia
26. Mount Bailey 8368 ft2551 mOregon
27. Mount Saint Helens 8365 ft2550 mWashington
Gearhart Mountain  (see note 5) 8364 ft2549 mOregon
Howlock Mountain  (Mount Thielsen) 8351 ft2545 mOregon
28. Prospect Peak 8338 ft2541 mCalifornia
29. Goosenest 8280 ft2524 mCalifornia
30. Aspen Butte  (Mountain Lakes Volcanoes, see note 6) 8208 ft2502 mOregon
31. Yamsay Mountain  (see note 7) 8196 ft2498 mOregon
32. Mount Curtis Gilbert  (Goat Rocks Volcano) 8184 ft2494 mWashington
33. West Prospect Peak 8172 ft2491 mCalifornia
34. Hillman Peak  (Crater Lake / Mt Mazama) 8151 ft2484 mOregon
35. Pylon Peak  (Meager Volcanic Complex) 8112 ft2473 mBritish Columbia
36. Haight Mountain 8081 ft2463 mCalifornia
37. Mount Harkness 8045 ft2452 mCalifornia
38. Pelican Butte 8036 ft2449 mOregon
Tipsoo Peak  (Mount Thielsen) _ 8034 ft2449 mOregon
39. Paulina Peak  (Newberry Volcano) 7985 ft2434 mOregon
40. Mount Harriman  (Mountain Lakes Volcanoes) 7979 ft2432 mOregon
41. Mount Hoffman  (Medicine Lake Volcano) 7913 ft2412 mCalifornia
42. Butt Mountain  (Yana Volcano) 7866 ft2398 mCalifornia
43. Burney Mountain 7863 ft2397 mCalifornia
44. Mount Cayley  (see note 8) 7854 ft2394 mBritish Columbia
45. Three Fingered Jack 7841 ft2390 mOregon
46. Willow Creek Mountain 7830 ft2387 mCalifornia
47. Maiden Peak 7818 ft2383 mOregon
48. Mount Washington 7794 ft2376 mOregon
49. Ball Mountain 7780 ft2371 mCalifornia
50. Tumalo Mountain 7775 ft2370 mOregon
51. Union Peak 7709 ft2350 mOregon
52. Hat Mountain 7695 ft2345 mCalifornia
53. Antelope Mountain 7684 ft2342 mCalifornia
54. Cowhorn Mountain 7664 ft2336 mOregon
55. Roop Mountain 7608 ft2319 mCalifornia
56. The Black Tusk 7598 ft2316 mBritish Columbia
57. Devils Peak 7582 ft2311 mOregon
58. The Husband 7524 ft2293 mOregon
59. Miller Mountain 7513 ft2290 mOregon

[1]   Brokeoff Mountain is the highest remnant of Mount Tehama, the eroded ancestral stratovolcano above which the more recent lava dome of Lassen Peak rises. Brokeoff has about 950 ft of reascent above the lowest saddle separating it from Lassen Peak, so I am considering making an exception to the 1000 ft standard and giving it a separate ranking of its own in this list. Other high remnants of Mount Tehama include Mount Diller (9087 ft), Loomis Peak (8658 ft), and Mount Conard (8204 ft), but none of these have the necessary reascent and it is not readily determinable if they erupted from separate vents. The eruptive center of Mount Tehama was probably near the location of the Sulphur Works fumaroles.
[2]   Mount Scott is the highest remnant of Mount Mazama, the volcano which collapsed following a cataclysmic eruption 7700 years ago to form Crater Lake. However, Mount Scott is a satellite cone on the east flank of the main Mazama stratovolcano. The highest remnant of the main Mazama cone (and the highest point on the rim of Crater Lake) is Hillman Peak, which has over 1400 ft of reascent above the lowest saddles (Kerr Notch and the Wineglass) along the rim between it and Mount Scott. Thus these two peaks must receive separate rankings on this list.
[3]   The Meager Volcanic Complex is the northernmost modern Cascade volcano, its lavas formed by Cascades arc subduction but having erupted through the non-volcanic basement rocks of the Coast Mountains about 40 miles (65 km) NW of Whistler. The complex consists of several overlapping stratovolcanoes and lava domes, and four of these peaks (Plinth, Meager, Capricorn, and Pylon) have the necessary 1000 ft of reascent to be considered separate volcanoes on this list. The Meager complex last erupted only 2300 years ago from a vent on the north side of Plinth Peak, so it is merely dormant and likely to erupt again in the future. Older volcanic rocks and deposits found farther northwest in the Coast Mountains may also have been associated with Cascades arc subduction (e.g. the Silverthrone Caldera near Mount Waddington), but heavy glaciation has removed most of the evidence including the volcanic peaks themselves, and present glaciers probably obscure additional evidence.
[4]   Red Cinder is located on the eastern border of Lassen Volcanic National Park. There are several (at least 10) volcanic peaks near it which exceed 7700 ft elevation, including cinder cones and eroded stratovolcano remnants. However, none have 1000 ft of reascent from Red Cinder, and thus only Red Cinder has been included on this list.
[5] Gearhart Mountain is volcanic in origin, a large andesitic stratovolcano, but it is located over 75 miles (120 km) east of the main Cascades arc and has an age greater than about 8 million years. Its formation is probably associated with Basin and Range extension with no influence from Cascades arc subduction, and thus it is not a "Cascade" volcano.
[6] Numerous Forest Service publications and roadside info boards claim that the Mountain Lakes Wilderness in southern Oregon once contained a single massive 12000 ft high volcano, which had undergone a caldera-forming eruption similar to Mount Mazama (Crater Lake) followed by subsequent glaciation which breached the caldera rim on several sides. However, this is complete nonsense, misinformation invented by those with no scientific evidence to back their fanciful claims. Although the view of the Mountain Lakes peaks from the Klamath Basin does appear to show a single large decapitated mountain, the topographic map reveals that it actually consists of several (4 or 5) adjacent and overlapping volcanoes, separated by large glacial troughs from the Ice Age which run down the intervening valleys. Furthermore, none of the obvious evidence of a caldera-forming eruption has ever been found, such as thick welded tuffs from pyroclastic flows, deep pumice/ash deposits nearby, and lighter tephra deposits covering a large geographic area. Crater Lake produced all of these, Mountain Lakes none, so there never was a 12000 ft volcano or a huge caldera-forming eruption in the Mountain Lakes region. Therefore these peaks (Aspen Butte, Mount Harriman, etc.) will be referred to here in the plural as the Mountain Lakes Volcanoes.
[7] Yamsay Mountain and the better-known Newberry and Medicine Lake volcanoes are large shield volcanoes located about 30-40 miles (50-65 km) east of the main Cascades arc, along the edge of the Basin and Range geologic province. However, their formation is believed to be linked to Cascades arc subduction, and most scientists consider them to be "Cascade" volcanoes.
[8] Mount Cayley has no listed elevation on the current (1992) Natural Resources Canada 1:50,000 scale topographic map 92 J/3, and the highest contour shown on the peak is at 7800 ft. The elevation listed here comes from a 1991 Geological Survey of Canada scientific paper, which gives the elevation as 2394 m.

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Amar Andalkar   Seattle, WA, USA   <About the Author / Contact Me>
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Last modified Friday, September 17, 2004